LibriVox recording of Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley. Read by Caden Vaughn Clegg.
Frankenstein begins in epistolary form, documenting the correspondence between Captain Robert Walton and his sister, Margaret Walton Saville. Walton sets out to explore the North Pole and expand his scientific knowledge in hopes of achieving fame and friendship. The ship becomes trapped in ice, and, one day, the crew sees a dog sled in the distance, on which there is the figure of a giant man. Hours later, the crew finds a frozen and emaciated man, Victor Frankenstein, in desperate need of sustenance. Frankenstein had been in pursuit of the gigantic man observed by Walton's crew when all but one of his dogs died. He had broken apart his dog sled to make oars and rowed an ice-raft toward the vessel. Frankenstein starts to recover from his exertion and recounts his story to Walton. Before beginning his story, Frankenstein warns Walton of the wretched effects of allowing ambition to push one to aim beyond what one is capable of achieving. In telling his story to the captain, Frankenstein finds peace within himself. (Introduction by Wikipedia)
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February 13, 2015 Subject:
An excellent recording, but the material is less good than I'd hoped.
I was disappointed by this. I understand that it is a character study of the doctor, rather than a monster movie, but I didn’t find his character as engrossing as it needs to be to draw the reader along. The pace is slow, and the philosophical issues which were so shocking and exciting back at publication are now little more than curios.
Let me give you an example: I’m listed as an organ donor. I’m not shocked at all by the grave robbing and tying bits of people together in this novel, indeed I have volunteered to have it done to myself once I’m done with my various bits of gibblet. I can say that, and no-one is shocked or offended or scandalized. We may get a joke or two about recycling, and one or more of my relatives may chip in about how they might be eyeing off my liver, but that’s about it. We really have moved on from this book as a society. I find it very hard to recommend as something other than an exercise in form for those who want to know where later works draw their inspiration from. I hate that I can’t hold this up as a peerless jewel of early science fiction by a female author, but in good conscience, I can’t recommend this book broadly.